The club, in the end, decided it was the best of the alternatives put to them. That doesn’t mean it isn’t faintly ridiculous, a spot of fixture congestion that’s parodic in the extreme as Liverpool will send a squad to face Aston Villa 24 hours before they have another squad playing in Qatar.
There may be ways to make it work. A smattering of veterans could still prop up the kids in the League Cup before travelling to Qatar and being available for the second game there, but it would mean almost no bench options and zero injury breathing room. Even if it somehow works out it’s, well, ridiculous.
“No one likes this because it’s going to be difficult,” was goalkeeper Alisson’s response when asked about the fixture situation by Esporte Interativo following the club’s victory over Genk last night. “Klopp has already said we’re going to play two different teams. This is obviously not ideal for us.
“We want to give our best and it helps when we have an organised schedule but it’s what we have. If I was playing in the Carabao Cup I would be very frustrated because it’s an opportunity for players who are not playing, so this situation bothers us. We want to give it all in all competitions.”
Alisson thinks it’s especially ridiculous given how much money there is in the game and how organised it is—and he suggested that maybe if the various governing bodies aren’t capable of figuring out situations like this on their own, that the players themselves need a stronger voice to force the issue.
“It’s ridiculous,” he added. “Football here is so organised and then things like this happen. The competitions are two different governing bodies but the same sport. I believe they have enough resources to organise better. It’s repetitive to always talk about the schedule, so why don’t they do something about it?
“The players are always on the back burner. I believe the players are not as organised as the NBA players. We need to be united to reach our goals, otherwise it will always be this same mess. The situation is not good for us, the clubs, or the national teams.”